Which is of greater significance: personal action or having faith in God?
This is a deeply personal question, and the answer will differ from person to person. For many, their belief in God is a vital part of their lives. I’ve noticed that some people focus solely on the spiritual aspect of life while neglecting important aspects of personal action and personal development such as mindset management, discipline, or making an effort to have what they want in life.
They think all they need to do is go to church, pray, and believe, and make no effort about the situation they pray about, thinking everything will work out by itself, somehow. “God will make it happen,” they say.
Others place greater emphasis on personal responsibility and accountability. They are focused solely on personal development, personal action and efforts, rejecting even considering God. They think they don’t need God. “God will not do the work for me; I can count only on myself,” I often hear.
Personal Action and Self-management
This is the twenty-third year I’ve been walking with the Lord through life after, by His grace, I survived a harrowing tragic car accident. Many said my destiny was broken, but I transformed it into a fulfilling, meaningful, and purposeful life journey. First, I thank God for changing my tragedy into an extraordinary life. Still, as I worked on restoring my life after the accident, through my experience, I have learned that BOTH aspects are essential. I experienced many testimonies of answered prayers in the name of Jesus Christ and incredible help from the Lord. However, I also made a relentless effort to achieve what I envisioned and prayed for, sometimes working beyond what I thought I could do.
I don’t think I would have achieved my aspirations If I had only prayed and believed. I think I’d still be depressed if I didn’t work on managing my mindset and my thoughts and if I didn’t change what caused the depression. I’d still exist imprisoned by the walls of my room if I did not take the initiative to break through the circumstances and barriers and if I didn’t work as hard as I did to bring a change in my life.
Being in charge, managing your inner state and thoughts, and personal action is just as necessary as relying on God and prayer. We live in a physical world that requires personal action and our effort to overcome and have whatever we value and desire.
Would I have life’s transformation as I do today if I did not act on inspiration and if I did not initiate the change in my circumstances? No. Nobody came into my life and said, “Inga, pack your bags, I will bring you to America, and I will ensure everything you need for a comfortable life.” The change began with me leaving my family and home in Lithuania and traveling to the USA without knowing where I would live or how I would survive there alone, with no legs and only one functioning arm. I stepped out in faith after receiving inspiration from reading a book and reading my Bible after the prayer. If I didn’t act on inspiration, most likely, everything would have stayed as it was…
Most of my goals, which are incredible testimonies today, required my unshakable faith and personal action and relentless perseverance.
Would I have these testimonies today if I stopped believing when everything seemed hopeless, and I did not receive the answer from God soon, and I would say: “Faith in God and prayers do not work for me”? No. I would have jeopardized my prayer and myself. Countless days and nights, I kept reaffirming my faith, waiting upon the Lord, and did not waver. Finally, when the time came, and my prayers were answered incredibly, I saw the great power of faith and was convinced time and time again that God has a time and a way for all answers, He knows what is best for me, and He is never late.
What would happen if I stopped pursuing my vision when my efforts seemed fruitless or when unshakable obstacles emerged before me? And if I did the work without diligence and carelessly..? With my negligence and irresponsibility, I would have ruined everything with my own hands! Would I live today the life that the Lord promised me through His Holy Scriptures after the accident if I had given up when my journey seemed too difficult to bear? No, no way.
A story came to my mind in Exodus when the Lord led the Israelites out of Egypt. God did not guide them through the land of the Philistines; although it was closer, God led the people around along a desert road to the Red Sea. And when the Israelites came to the Red Sea, Pharaoh, and the Egyptians went to kill them. The Israelites were terrified when they saw that the Egyptians were pursuing them.
They had nowhere to go, and the Israelites, in fright, began to cry out to the Lord and grumble. And what did the Lord answer them? In Exodus 14:15-16 we read:
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground.”
First, God says, “Why do you cry out to me?” Israelites were in a challenging situation and cried out to God in fear. But God told them to move forward! See, the Lord did not take the obstacle out of the way nor place them miraculously on the other side of the sea. Israelites had to face the challenge and move forward, following God’s direction (raise the staff and stretch out his hand over the sea), hoping the Lord would help them get through this sea! They had to take personal action in spite of fear and obstacle ahead.
God intended to show His glory through this situation, which man himself cannot overcome. Indeed, at the end of the story, we know that the Lord enabled them to pass through the sea as through dry land, destroying their enemies.
What about you?
WHAT IF that’s precisely what needs to happen in your situation, and yet you wait until the Lord somehow miraculously will place you on the other side of your problem or obstacle? Of course, when the Lord says not to move – we need not to move. But if you did not receive this message, then consider taking action and initiating the change. Ask God to give you inspiration or show you in some way what you need to do. Do something about that situation that you’ve been praying about.
You can’t lead a passive effortless life and blame God for a miserable and unfruitful life. God gave us freedom of choice, and our choices will bring us blissful results or regretful consequences. The Lord will help you feel better, but still, you have a choice to focus on the negativity and the goodness; your inner state will depend on your choice. The Lord will open the opportunity and create circumstances in your favor, but then you must pay attention, notice that opportunity and use it. Achieving your desired outcome requires putting in the necessary effort.
Hesitation, fear, and laziness will cause you to miss those opportunities given to you by the Lord. No goal, no dream can come true without our diligent actions. And if we believe that we have a purpose from the Lord, this will only happen if we dare to step out in faith and apply the right actions to fulfill it. Ultimately, your outcome will depend on your choices.
Trusting the Lord
I also fully acknowledge that my life’s transformation would not have been possible without God’s divine intervention. Many say that I am a strong person, and that’s why I overcame adversity and attained my goals. The actual reason for my inner strength and endurance is my faith. Jesus Christ is who I get the strength and the blessing from. There were numerous times when the hope that I might see God’s help was the only thing that kept me from giving up and gave me the will to keep moving forward in life.
There were times when I felt so tired that even all my knowledge about personal development and success principles did not help. I got fiercely knocked down not once and was so deeply disappointed that I didn’t have the strength to pick myself up. And when nobody and nothing could help me, Christ was the one who always did. He got me back up on my feet after each time I fell. He healed my soul’s wounds and encouraged me to take the next step. The Lord always gave me inner strength, inspiration, courage, and endurance to persevere.
When there was no way out and only hopelessness in front of me, God created opportunities and circumstances in my favor, which was inexplicable and incredible. God gave me grace when I was working on my goals. I successfully achieved them all, even if they initially seemed impossible. If not for God, my life would have gone very differently.
I don’t know which direction your life will take, but I want to pass on my experiential knowledge – one of the greatest gems I have found. Trust the Lord, no matter how hopeless it may seem. It is imperative to maintain unwavering faith in the Lord during difficult times. However, it is equally crucial to put dedicated effort towards achieving desired outcomes in life. The results you have today and will experience in the future are inextricably linked to God’s grace and your beliefs, choices, and actions.
Act on inspiration! Be assertive and persistent! Keep striving and pushing forward until you achieve the vision that is within you. Don’t let anything hold you back. And don’t let anything stop you.
But don’t do it alone. Only with God, all things are possible.
Be strong. Be determined and relentless. Be unstoppable.
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Book “Unstoppable. It’s a Choice”
My full story you can find in my book UNSTOPPABLE. It’s a Choice
UNSTOPPABLE is an inspirational memoir and personal development book grounded in the author’s Christian faith. It follows the story of Inga Lizdenytė, a woman who transformed her life after a tragic car accident, where the chances stacked against her proved all but insurmountable. From being incapable of speaking or moving or doing anything independently, to traveling from Europe and moving to the United States, the book emerges as a valuable testimony to the power of God.
“Unstoppable. It’s a Choice” aims to inspire, coach, ignite faith and equip the reader with knowledge on how to overcome hardships and trust God.